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Lecturers’ perception of students’ information literacy skills versus students’ actual information literacy levels

Dorcas Ejemeh Krubu
Ogaga Oghene Uzezi Idhalama
Chirstopher Omigie


The main objective of this study is to determine lecturers' perception of students' information literacy skills versus students' actual information literacy levels in a specialised federal university in Nigeria. Mixed qualitative methods of open-ended written interviews with lecturers and analysis of students' written assignment was employed. Twelve open-ended interview protocols were administered to twelve (12) lecturers in various departments in both Colleges of Science and Technology in addition to two librarians who teach the Use of Library and Study Skills Course. In the same vein, individual assignments of the entire 50, third year student of Electrical Electronic Engineering Departments were examined using a rubric prepared by the researchers (founded on the ACRL information literacy standards). The study presented herein is limited to only one department in the university and may not be used for the purpose of generalisation. It was discovered through the findings that students' information literacy level is quite low even in third year while the lecturers present an elevated impression of students' information literacy levels, rating them as excellent/advanced. The study recommends Quality Education in Developing Countries (QEDC)(2008) strategies and QEDC theory of change to serve as point of evaluation and genuine intervention in teaching and learning. The study also recommends regular information literacy education in-service programmes for the teaching staff to aid in enhancing their teaching capacity. The Nigerian Library Association (NLA) should work to develop an information literacy education policy and enforce it in Nigerian universities. The research unravels the status-quo of information literacy in the particular context and explicates the need for the ideal information literacy education. This paper fulfils the need to study the information literacy levels of undergraduates and the possible intervention programs.

Keywords: information literacy, skills, lecturers' perception, students' information literacy, information literacy level